I've Been Thinking...: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life

I've Been Thinking...: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life

by Maria Shriver

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“[I've Been Thinking…] is beautiful...I felt your soul on these pages.” –Oprah Winfrey

“If you are feeling stuck, lost, or you just need a pick-me-up, this is the book for you. Shriver’s wisdom will fill you up.” —Hoda Kotb, coanchor, The Today Show

A book of reflections for those seeking wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration on the road to a meaningful life.

As a prominent woman juggling many roles, Maria Shriver knows just how surprising, unpredictable, and stressful everyday life can be.

In this moving and powerful book, she shares inspiring quotes, prayers, and reflections designed to get readers thinking, get them feeling, get them laughing, and help them in their journey to what she calls The Open Field--a place of acceptance, purpose, and passion--a place of joy.

I've Been Thinking . . . is ideal for anyone at any point in her life. Whether you feel like you've got it all together or like it's all falling apart--whether you're taking stock of your life or simply looking to recharge, this is the book you will turn to again and again. Spend the weekend reading it cover to cover, or keep it on your nightstand to flip to the chapter you need most. Like talking with a close friend, it's the perfect daily companion—an exceptional gift for someone looking to move forward in life with hope and grace.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525522614
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 5,002
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Maria Shriver is the mother of four, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, the author of seven New York Times bestselling books and a bestselling coloring book, an NBC News Special Anchor, and founder of The Women's Alzheimer's Movement. When she's not thinking or writing, she can be found hanging with her kids.

Read an Excerpt

The Power of Gratitude

“Gratitude is a flower that blooms in noble souls.” —Pope Francis

I believe strongly in the power of gratitude. And scientific research backs that up. It shows that making a daily conscious effort to be grateful does in fact make you a happier, more hopeful person.

There are those lucky ones who come by their attitude of gratitude naturally. It seems like they were born happy, optimistic, and grateful. But most of us have to work at having a positive frame of mind. I’ve found that the best way to get that is to have a daily gratitude practice.
So every morning when I open my eyes, and before my feet touch the ground, I thank God for the gift of my life. I give thanks for my health, my family, my friends, and for the country I’m blessed to live in. I’ve found that starting out that way makes for a better day and, in turn, I believe it makes for a better life.

I seek out people who have a gratitude practice. I love talking with them and learning from them. They look at the world through a clear lens. They’re more joyful. When adversity arises, they bounce back faster. They know and feel that they have a good thing going. And they do.
The truth is, you can never be grateful enough. So it’s worth seeking out people who are like this and asking them how they stay that way: their practices, their principles, and how they put those into action.

The power of gratitude can turn a bad day into a good one. It reboots your spirit. It makes you look at your life in a different way. Being thankful can make all the difference in your day.
So start your very own daily gratitude practice. Write down what you’re grateful for, reflect on what you wrote, and carry the gratitude into your day. It’ll make all the difference in the world.

Dear God, thank you for all the times when I am blessed by the kindness of others. You have surrounded me with people who care for me and bless me every day with kind words and actions. Help me to show them the same kindness they have provided. Help me to know how deeply I appreciate them and to know that I treasure them as a gift from you to me. Amen.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

I Am Who I Choose to Become 5

Seeing the Jewel Inside 8

Working on "Intestinal Fortitude" 11

Life Is Yours to Create … and to Re-create 14

What I Learned About Power from a Community of Nuns 17

The Power of Peace Starts from Within 21

The Power of Gratitude 24

The Power of Positive Thinking 26

The Power of the Mind 31

The Power of Women 33

The Power of Presence 36

The Power of the Pause 39

The Power of Listening 44

The Power of Empathy 49

The Power of Letting Go 53

The Power of Thank You 56

The Power of Motherhood 59

The Power of Laughter 62

The Power of Faith 64

The Power of Prayer and Meditation 66

The Power of Forgiveness 69

The Power of Your Story 72

Chasing the Illusion of Perfection 75

Why Acceptance Is the Path to Finding Peace 79

Why It Takes Courage to Care 81

An Omen from God 84

I've Learned to Deserve 89

Bring Joy into Your Home 94

When Life Throws You a Curveball, Do This 97

It's Okay-in Fact, It's Crucial-to Grieve 100

When Is It Time to Move On? 104

Faith Keepers 107

What Is Love? 109

Loving Motherhood 112

Talk of Love, Not Hate 115

We're in Need of a Social Kindness Movement 118

Go Back to Move Forward 121

I'm Giving Up on Complaining 123

Six Family Truths I've Learned Along the Way 127

We All Have Mental Health Issues. Here's Why It's Okay. 131

Why We Should Stop Trying to "Go It Alone" 135

Looking for the Light in the Cracks 140

One Person Can Make a Huge Impact on You 144

Men and Kindness 149

A Message from My Mother I Will Cherish Forever 152

Finding Peace in Your Decisions 155

Why We Need Time to Think and Reflect 158

Mother's Day Every Day 161

We're All in This Together 164

"We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For" 167

Something to Focus on Other Than Your Lips, Thighs, and Eyes 171

Reflections on a Whirlwind Week 174

My Easter Reflections 177

A Time to Rest 181

What I'm Grateful for This Thanksgiving 186

What I'm Carrying with Me into Each New Year 189

Don't Call Me an Empty Nester 193

Sixty Life Lessons for My Birthday 198

Hope 205

Epilogue 207

Oh! And One More Thing: The Power of Reevaluating 211

Acknowledgments 225

Customer Reviews

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I've Been Thinking . . .: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life (Signed Book) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. I know it will be a book that I will be rereading a lot. It has a lot of meaning and a lot of things to think about. The more I hear Maria talk and read about her she is a very sincere and thoughtful person. Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this books. It was written in a thoughtful manner. Many of the reflections hit home. I have marked several of the passages to reread when I feel the need. This would be good for a book club. Good discussions about some of the topics that many women go through in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read for anyone who's looking to make a change in their life. Maria touches on almost everything (life)we go through on a daily basis and shows with a little faith-prayer-love we can overcome and help ALL!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hughly enjoyed reading this book. Read it over a long period one chapter at a tme so i could reflect on each one. It is helping me deal with a difficult period in my family's life. Highly recomend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delicate, passionate and gentle life lessons.
Maryevelyn More than 1 year ago
In this personal, honest book, Maria Shriver welcomes us into her thought processes, her life, and what she’s learned. While reading my review copy, I felt as if she’d invited me over for a cup of tea to talk about her life. The book contained so many pearls of wisdom from her, and from countless other deep thinkers—poets, philosophers, and more—people of diverse faiths, beliefs, and professions, who offered words that we can all live by. Written in short readable chapters with Shriver’s own prayers at the end of each, it’s perfect for periods of meditation. She touches on aspects of human life that we all experience—gratitude, regret, joy, family truths, mental health, aging, empty nesting, sorrow, happiness, mothering, rest, and reflection. This will be a book that I underline, re-read, give to others, and keep by my bedside.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I enjoyed it !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was exactly what I needed at this time in my life. It’s a book that I will read over and over again! Thank you Maria Shriver! I share with my friends the name of this book so that they can read the prayers and words of wisdom!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so appreciated her intent, but for me, this didn't quite work. I sure wish I had many, many friends and a huge family; loving parents and exotic opportunities... It was nice to learn about her life, but not always applicable to my own. In general, more of a general personal diary. Thanks though for the book, and best wishes on her path.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Maria Shriver is totally correct in saying we are now living in times where more is needed. Men, women and children across this nation and world are tired of the prevailing negativity, yearning for that which makes life “good.” No, this is not a self-help book for Pollyanna-type persons but one in which one finds inner peace, purpose, love, and even joy. Before each meditation in this book are quotations from notable people, those who’ve made a difference in the world but not been satisfied by external accolades. Instead they’re centered on the inner world that fuels their thoughts, words and deeds. For example, “Who you become as a person is up to you – up to your imagination, your will, your determination, your choices…” or “What you think you become” shared by the Buddha. Then there are sections that we have heard before like pieces on love, honesty, forgiveness, and so on. But what about the power within each of us for “empathy,” “losing faith,” “not caring too much for what others think,” living in a “complaint-free zone” periodically, “a culture of care,” “the process of discernment,” “grieving,” and so many more topics will catch your attention and invite you to ponder each one. One is to consider meditating on it with prayer or just letting it be in one’s consciousness until one is ready to move on to the next one. This is not a book to be read cover to cover quickly; it’s full of wisdom and points of view that are right at different moments in life. It has thoughts and advice that one will want to repeat reading and contemplating as well as passages that will provoke and inspire at different times. There’s no one result or goal. The process is to just “be” with each section or passage. Maria Shriver comes from a family of doers but this is a book about the fire and fuel behind the doing and being! Highly recommended, inspirational nonfiction. It could just be the best book you read right now!
Cindy_Rhodes More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to digest slowly. I love reading it at the end of each day reflecting on how it relates to what happened throughout the day. It is a very calming book where Maria shares many personal stories. It reminds you to find meaning in everything, to live life to the fullest and not to live full of regrets. I will keep this book nearby for a long time. Thank you for your wisdom!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed it. I don't read books before but I finish this one this time. Good one!!
Sister-P More than 1 year ago
Inspirational This is my first time reading anything written by Maria Shriver, and I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised. There is much wisdom and experience penned in the pages of this book which could be read straight through or as a daily devotional. Either way, her generous words will inspire, uplift, encourage, and make you "think." **I received this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 19 days ago
I really in joyed
Anonymous 21 days ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
Good read, thought provoking Thank you for sharing Maris
DJESK More than 1 year ago
A little bit about a lot of things. Great quotes. Very applicable prayers for each of the various topics. Makes you reflect upon your own life in those ways too! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this "light reading" type of book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely a must-read! This book was very straightforward and relatable. Great for empowerment and striving toward the good life!